Many will say this an overreaction but in a 56 game season there is no time to slow play things. While most people expected the Blueshirts to fight for a top 4 spot in the East division, I never truly expected this team to be a playoff team. While this team has some true elite tope end talent there are some definitive holes throughout the roster.
While saying that this team is flawed there still is something to be said for coaching and being able to get the most out of some rosters that may not be so talented. Take John Tortorella for example, his Blue Jackets teams are never the most talented rosters or when he loses a majority of his roster to injury, there are no excuses made, Tortorella finds a way to drive his team to wins. Even the 2011-2012 Rangers, they were nowhere near a great team but Tortorella’s coaching ability got the most out of what was a top heavy roster.
So far throughout six games the Rangers struggles have been well documented by their record. With no defined leader for this young team it is Quinn’s job to right this ship and get all these players pulling in the same direction.
Since Quinn started with the Rangers there have been warts to his coaching style and so far this season the microscope is starting to zero in on all of them.
While the kids have come out of the gate on fire the same can not be said for the vets. Part of that issue can be contributed to DQ constantly putting the lines in the blender and mixing stuff up looking for a spark. While some nights it may call for juggling the lines to gain a spark, doing it on a nightly basis will do more harm than good.
Goaltending has also been a struggle but Quinn hasn’t helped that situation either by switching off Georgie and Shesterkin which doesn’t allow either netminder to get into a rhythm in a condensed season. Shuffling Brendan Smith and Jack Johnson in and out of the lineup like it’s a shell game also won’t allow the defense to settle in.
Even though Kaapo Kakko has had a very good start to the season he’s been doing it in spite of Quinn. I understand wanting to spread out your offense and not load up but when you have Ryan Strome who’s struggling, playing him on a line with Artemi Panarin and Kakko is something that could jumpstart his game. Also not giving Kakko powerplay time is one thing that makes no sense whatsoever. With the powerplay struggling out of the gate, Kakko is exactly the kind of player who could help jumpstart either unit with his shot from the right faceoff circle. Instead of running out a top unit with four right handers and one lefty, removing a struggling Strome from PP1 and adding Kakko, who has a shoot first kind of game, could help add a huge spark and get this teams motor running.
While you don’t want burn out your number goalie in a season that is going to be a sprint you also have to give them a shot to get into a groove. Same thing with your forward lines and defensive pairs, consistently shaking them up will never get them into the rhythm that the team needs to drive them forward. While trying to be a coach there is a time where many coaches can over coach and do more harm to the team than good. Right now David Quinn isn’t helping the Rangers and is doing more to hurt the club.
From the minute Quinn was hired I had always believed that he was a transitional coach that would not be here when the Rangers were out of the rebuild and ready to compete for a Cup. With this sluggish start Quinn should absolutely start to feel his seat become a bit toasty. This coming set of three games is wildly important to setting the tracks down properly before this season goes off the rails.
You can argue the season is young and standings don’t matter for this year with the division setup being an uphill battle. What you can argue in counter to that statement is having a compete level of this team and execution from the coaching staff that shows growth moving forward. Early on we’re not seeing enough of that overall.